Linking buyers with green suppliers: Join the Climate Smart Network
ITC launches Climate Smart Network in partnership with leading sustainability enablers at COP27 – set to feature the profiles of more than 100,000 businesses in developing countries by 2023 – to support the low-carbon transition of small businesses.
During COP27, the International Trade Centre (ITC) launched the Climate Smart Network: a new online platform that connects buyers with small businesses working to adapt to or mitigate climate change. The platform enables small businesses to showcase their commitment to the low-carbon transition and resilience, the climate-smart measures they have implemented, and their compliance with third-party standards.
Over one million businesses have already embarked on their low-carbon transition journey. Through the platform, buyers can climate-proof their supply chains by accessing trustworthy data and verifying new and potential suppliers’ climate-smart credentials.
Regarding the initiative, United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry said: “The private sector has the ability to help win the climate battle. Platforms like the Climate Smart Network play a key role in making this happen.”
ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton said: “The Climate Smart Network brings much-needed visibility to small businesses in developing countries that are taking concrete steps to reduce their environmental footprint, enabling them to connect to buyers worldwide.”
All businesses certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) are featured on the platform, enabling buyers to identify climate-smart suppliers from emerging markets, or to check the validity of their climate-smart credentials.
Katrin Khoza, Head of IT and Data Management at GOTS, said: "We appreciate and will continue to support ITC’s work to bring voluntary sustainability standards to the forefront, and to share data about their certified businesses, as this can be a significant lever for sustainable development."
In addition, buyers looking to offset emissions can identify Gold Standard projects and go directly to the Gold Standard marketplace to purchase carbon credits. Gold Standard is globally renowned for launching a best practice standard for climate and sustainable development interventions, called the Gold Standard for the Global Goals.
Sarah Leugers, Chief Strategy Officer at Gold Standard, said: “This exciting new platform will be a great help to small businesses that want to reduce their impact on the planet. The agreement with Gold Standard means that small businesses will easily be able to buy the highest integrity carbon credits on the market, so they can be assured their money is having real impact where it matters most.”
The Climate Smart Network features businesses committed to the SME Climate Hub, an initiative that provides tools and resources to enable small businesses to make a climate commitment, take action and measure their progress towards emissions reductions. Together with a number of organizations, the SME Climate Hub has partnered with Race to Zero, the United Nations-backed global campaign that rallies non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial and educational institutions – to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero-carbon world. The SME Climate Commitment is the official pathway for small businesses to join the Race to Zero campaign, and businesses that commit to the SME Climate Hub will be globally recognized by the campaign.
Pamela Jouven, Director of the SME Climate Hub, said: "Amidst increasing economic uncertainty, rising energy costs, inflation and the continued impacts of COVID-19, climate change continues to compound risks for every business. Small businesses have the opportunity to become more resilient through climate action, but they need support and incentives to prioritize emissions reductions. Through the SME Climate Hub's partnership with the Climate Smart Network, we're providing our community of small businesses with another opportunity for increased visibility and customer acquisition by aligning them with like-minded buyers."
Those not yet ready to commit to net zero can join the platform to access tools and resources designed to help them transition to a low-carbon economy.
A partnership has also been initiated with ConnectAmericas, which is the largest business platform in Latin America and the Caribbean, created in 2014 by the Inter-American Development Bank in collaboration with Google, Mastercard, Sealand, Meta and DHL.
Businesses featured on ConnectAmericas have joined the initiative.
Fabrizio Opertti, Manager of the Integration and Trade Sector at the Inter-American Development Bank, said: “ConnectAmericas and the Inter-American Development Bank are pleased to join ITC on its efforts to mitigate climate change. We believe the Climate Smart Network will be key to supporting small businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean to develop climate initiatives and integrate into more transparent value chains.”
By joining the ITC Climate Smart Network, brands can:
Identify climate-smart suppliers from emerging markets;
Access trustworthy data and verify suppliers’ climate-smart claims;
Add content and data to frame their corporate reporting;
Provide visibility to suppliers benefiting from brands’ training programmes;
Share access to resources to assist their suppliers’ low-carbon transition.
Small businesses ready to take climate action can:
Connect with some of the world’s largest buyers actively looking for climate-smart suppliers;
Make a pledge to lower carbon emissions through the SME Climate Hub, with specific targets and a roadmap for emissions reductions;
Access tools designed to help them decrease greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Organizations looking to join the Climate Smart Network, a global public network of sustainable companies and initiatives, can reach out to ITC.
The platform is available in Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Join the Climate Smart Network today!